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Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, longtime Kuwait emir, dies

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, emir of Kuwait, at the White House in 2018. Photo Ken Cedeno/UPI
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, emir of Kuwait, at the White House in 2018. Photo Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Kuwait's emir since 2006, has died at 91, officials said Tuesday.

Doctors admitted Sabah to a Kuwaiti hospital in July, where he underwent surgery. He then traveled to the United States for continued treatment. Initial reports did not elaborate on the cause of death or where he died.

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"With deep sadness and sorrow, the Emiri Diwan sends its condolences to the people of Kuwait, the Arab and Muslim nations and our friendly nations worldwide," Royal Court Minister Sheikh Ali Jarrah al-Sabah said on state television.

Sabah served as the country's foreign minister for 40 years, starting in 1963, after holding other government positions. He held the position when Iraq invaded Kuwait and occupied the country in 1990.

That led to the first Gulf War, in which the United States led a coalition to liberate Kuwait. State media credited Sabah with helping manage Kuwait during that challenging time. A year after the war, he was named first deputy prime minister.

Sabah started his career in the Kuwaiti government in 1954 as part of the supreme executive committee.

Crown Prince Sheik Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah was named the new emir of Kuwait after the passing of his father, the Kuwait government confirmed.

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Anas al-Saleh, deputy prime minister led the cabinet in prayer for the former emir and the new leader.

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